The more schools I visit, the more I become aware of a pattern that causes me serious concern.
There are two items that beginning and adolescent schools tend to woefully underestimate: one, the vast economic demand that the vision of classical and Christian education requires for our schools and, two, the need for parent education. I will expound on the economic piece today as part one and the parent piece a little later as part two.
It is easy for Classical and Christian schools to
(1) underestimate costs (I am convinced that it requires around $10,000 per student to run a typical and healthy institute – yes, even a classical and Christian one…even more so a classical and Christian school),
(2) fail to charge parents what it costs,
(3) lack an economic development and entrepreneurial spirit, and
(4) plan poorly for the financial model of their schools.
These are serious problems that are causing more than one school to shut-down in our work. In addition, our lack of financial stability leads to the making of concessions in the admissions office because of the temptation to admit students who are not a fit in order to fill spots and increase revenue. Finally, we are susceptible to big donors giving money with strings attached.
These circumstances and occasions can lead a school to shut down or to forget its mission. Only a sound economic model can sustain a sound education model.